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Re: [mythsoc] Elves as Artists

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  • Diane Joy Baker
    Is it possible Tolkien might have gotten the analogy from Wisdom s participation in the Creation? While it s pretty shadowy, it could have served as a
    Message 1 of 31 , Apr 21, 2008
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      Is it possible Tolkien might have gotten the analogy from Wisdom's participation in the Creation? While it's pretty shadowy, it could have served as a "bridge."

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: John D Rateliff
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:37 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Elves as Artists


      Sorry for the delay in responding; I thought this post went to the
      list last Thursday (the 17th), and only discovered today that for
      some reason it seems not to have gone off.

      On Apr 17, 2008, at 4:01 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
      > Thanks, John! Fascinating stuff.
      >
      > I missed your paper at Marquette (probably because I was still working
      > on finishing my own; I missed a lot of papers that way -- alas!), and
      > haven't read the proceedings yet -- just one volume from a mountain of
      > Tolkien criticism that I haven't been able to keep up with for years
      > now.

      Thanks, Carl. I made it to almost all the presentations, only missing
      some for the few that were double-tracked (drat!). Luckily, almost
      all of them made it into the published collection, which has some
      really good essays in it.

      > One comment:
      >> 'Like the angels of the cosmogonical legend, Niggle is an
      >> artist . . . who passes from Making . . . to Sub-creation . . and
      >> whose sub-creation is "taken up into Creation" and made
      >> real.' (Blackwelder festschrift, page 84)
      >>
      > It's not clear though just which "cosmogonical legend" Tolkien has in
      > mind here. Is there anything in, say, Augustine or Aquinas that
      > suggests that angels played a role in creation? Or is Tolkien in fact
      > referring to pseudepigraphal, Classical, or Gnostic cosmogony?

      Sorry, my mistake for not making the hierarchies of quotations
      clearer in the snippets I cited. Most of this paragraph, including
      the bit about 'the cosmogonical legend', is me, the "taken up into
      Creation" is Tolkien. My cosmogonical legend to which I refer is the
      Ainulindale. I don't know of any evidence that Tolkien was directly
      inspired by actual gnosticism, which I'm pretty sure he would have
      considered heresy. I also don't know of any of the church fathers who
      suggested the angels played a role in creation, though I'd be very
      interested to learn more about that one way or the other. For Tolkien
      at least, the sort of delegated creation Iluvatar presides over is
      more like a permissible thought-experiment, at least if I'm reading
      his remarks to Hastings correctly: not church doctrine but not
      directly contradicting it either, merely a different way God could
      have chosen to have done things.

      On Apr 17, 2008, at 9:16 PM, Merlin DeTardo wrote:

      >> ---John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
      >> << 'While Tolkien does not elucidate on what he means by these "sub-
      >> creational counterfeits', from the context (a discussion of beings
      >> made by the Dark Lord in counterfeit of the Free Peoples) I suspect
      >> that he is speaking of something along the lines of C. S. Lewis's Un-
      >> man, an idea which Lewis seems to have derived in turn from Dante's
      >> Inferno. Cf. Canto XXXIII, where Dante meets in Hell someone he knows
      >> to be alive in the world above and is told that while the soul is
      >> already damned and in Hell the body, animated by a devil, is still
      >> walking around in the world of the living (Dante Alighieri, The
      >> Divine Comedy 1: Hell, trans. Dorothy L. Sayers [Baltimore: Penguin
      >> Books, 1949], pages 281-281.' >>

      > Tolkien describes something vaguely similar when considering the
      > possibility of Men's bodies in Aman, bereft of their spirits [1], and
      > of wayward "Houseless" Elf spirits in Middle-earth that might attempt
      > to oust Men's souls from their bodies [2].
      >
      > [1] "Aman" from "Myths Transformed" in _Morgoth's Ring_, pp. 428-430.
      >
      > [2] "Of Re-birth and Other Dooms of Those That Go to Mandos"
      > from "Laws and Customs among the Eldar", also in _Morgoth's Ring_,
      > pp. 223-225.

      You're right; those late musings could be relevant to the issue at
      hand, and if I'd remembered them at the time I'd have added them to
      the endnote. I'll have to re-read those sections and think more on
      how it may tie in. Thanks for drawing these passages to my attention.

      --JDR






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    • Marcie
      Hi all, Several of the folks in our Los Angeles smial have taken on the Eowyn Challenge and really enjoyed it. Two of us arrived in Rivendell this month and
      Message 31 of 31 , Apr 28, 2008
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        Hi all,
        Several of the folks in our Los Angeles smial have taken on the Eowyn
        Challenge and really enjoyed it. Two of us arrived in Rivendell this
        month and are now on our way to Lothlorien. Four or five others have
        started out from Hobbiton, and one person has walked, jogged and
        cycled all the way to Mordor! Hope you'll enjoy your walks.
        Cheers,
        Marcie


        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Higgins <asthiggins@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi All
        >
        > Yesterday the UK was blessed with one of the warmest days of the
        year so far and it afforded myself, partner and our Corgi, Charlie,
        to start the Eowyn Challenge (our cat Meowman was not interested and
        preferred to do the couch challenge). We have decided this summer to
        walk to Rivendell from Hobbiton (roughly 450 miles). We travelled to
        one of the ancient seats of the Bishops of Winchester - Farnham - and
        walked roughly 5 miles which essentially according to the Eowyn
        Challenge (the "Horse Joy" challenge as it were) got us into Tookland
        (27 miles to the first encounter with the Black Rider - why am I
        looking forward to that?).
        >
        > Farnham Castle is currently managed by The English Heritage Society
        and as we were passing by the gates I got thinking about what The
        Middle Earth Heritage Society would look like in the future time of
        Middle Earth (say the 20th Age) what ruins would exist (Minas Tirith,
        Isengard, Edoras) - with the passing of the Elves one would think
        that Elvish buildings would fade as well (although as in the Lord of
        the Rings Online game - one would still see some remains of Elvish
        architecture like Edelethion). Would men have set up a society to
        manage and fund the upkeep of the most famous sites of Middle Earth
        and as a member of the Middle Earth Heritage Society you could get in
        free to all these sites. Would there be museum displays of the great
        battles - and I'm sure to secure government funding from the
        Elessarion goverment you would have to do some interactive
        educational elements (try on the armor of a Numenorian soldier, make
        your own remedy out of Athelas leaves, etc) - would
        > there be a gift shop (purchase your own Lembas bread recipe,
        palantir snow globes, etc.). What would people be thinking as the
        walked across the stone ruins of what was Osgiliath or Minas Ithil -
        would there be a coffee/gift shop and travellers restaurant on top of
        Weathertop?
        >
        > Any other ideas on what would form part of The Middle Earth
        Historical Society would offer - reenacrtments of the Battle of
        Pelannor fields perhaps?
        >
        > Andy
        >
        >
        >
        > Andrew Higgins
        > asthiggins@yahoo. org.uk
        >
        >
        > "Alles ist nach seiner Art, an ihr wirst du nichts andern."
        Siegfried Act 2
        > http://wotanselvish musings.blogspot .com
        > http://www.facebook .com/profile. php?id=833145056
        >
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